exports story.jpgZimbabwe’s export earnings from regional markets increased by 20% in 2011, but failed to sustain the nation’s widening trade deficit.

The growth in export receipts was revealed by the African Development Bank in its latest Economic Review where it was noted that recovery in productivity for mining, agriculture and manufacturing has led to increased export volumes.

According to the official figures from the bank, regional export earnings which increased from US$285 million in 2010 to US$390 million last year failed to reduce the trade deficit hovering at US$1,4 billion.

The Immediate Vice President for the Association of SADC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Obert Sibanda says in spite of the growth in regional export earnings, government should introduce incentives aimed at restoring confidence in the export sector.

“The growth is appreciated but more still needs to be done to ensure that exports are on the increase,” Mr Sibanda said.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation President, Mr.  Edzayi Kufandarerwa said companies should expand export market destinations and stop relying on tobacco and minerals.

“What should be done is just to spread out the exports market base,” said Mr Kufandarerwa.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries has revealed in its 2011 industrial survey that as a ratio to the Gross Domestic Product, the share of exports increased from 30% of GDP in 2009 to 36% last year.